We finished our work earlier today and a colleague of mine invited me to have an afternoon tea together at her home. I knew that she moved her new house a week ago, so I gladly accepted to learn its location. And guess what we had together! Not surprisingly we planned to make kisir together on the way home, so we stopped by a supermarket to buy the necessary ingredients. I mentioned the role of kisir among Turkish women before, making and having kisir together is a very common habit of us when we decide to come together. She bought the ingredients of kisir and I bought a chocolate cake from the market. It is a part of our culture to buy and take something to the house we are invited. If you don’t, it’s not a problem at all, but it’s thought as a sign of politeness if you go with something (such as a kind of dessert or drink) to there.
When we arrived, she suggested to show around her new house. I don’t know if this is special to our culture or if other cultures have this same tradition. Generally when people move to a new house, they show around that new house to their guests. They want their guests to know the parts of the house and feel comfortable. In this way, they know where the kitchen is or where the rest room is, so they can easily find these places when they need. This may be thought as a sign of showing off in other cultures, but here it is thought as a friendly behaviour.And you can make your friend happy saying how beautifully her house is decorated. To be honest, I personally don’t like this tradition much. Homes are the only places where we have our privacy and this shouldn’t be bothered. Besides, I don’t think that it’s necessary for the guests to know every part of your house. What do you say? It would be great to hear if anyone from other cultures have the same tradition.
Anyway, we had great time together making and eating kisir followed by tea and chocolate cake. And when I returned home, I decided to prepare a quick dinner which we call breakfast as it included Turkish black tea, potato salad, sliced tomato and cucumber and a salad made of goat cheese.
This goat cheese is very different from regulat goat cheese. This cheese is encased in a skin of goat. It has an incredible taste most probably because it has a long and difficult process. Goat milk is heated and fermented. There becomes a clot and this clot is waited in a fabric bag for 3 days so that it is decomposed from its water. After that, the clot is crumbled and mixed with a 3% proportion of salt and then it is waited in open air for about 18 hours. This process is repeated a few times to get the right aroma. Finally, the cheese is encased in a goat skin and waited for 120 days. This goat skin has also a long process. It is salted 1 and a half year before the cheese is encased. After such an arduous process, you can imagine how wonderful it tastes.
We either eat this specail cheese plain or make a salad of it for an appetizing breakfast. The ingredients of this salad is up to you, you can use any greens you have. Some people put tomatoes in this salad, but I don’t love it in cheese salad as it is a succulent vegetable.
Tulum Peyniri Salatası
– 1 cup goat cheese encased in skin (or any kind you love)
– Fresh dill
– Fresh basil
– Red pepper flakes
– 1 tbsp olive oil
Chop all greens and mix them with cheese. Season it with red pepper flakes and drizzle olive oil on it. You can serve this sald with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers near it (not in it) and a few black olives also go perfect with it.
Besides the open markets, you may also see pickup trucks full of vegetables and fruits in Turkey strolling around neighborhoods. They also have a loud speaker and you hear the driver shouting “Tomato, potato, onion, melon!” These may change according to the season. When you hear this voice, you go down and buy what you need from that truck. They are like mobile markets.
The truck full of tomatoes hits the road from the field to the city center. These tomatoes will be either delivered to groceries or sold to people in various neighborhoods. However, some of the tomatoes are reluctant to go to the city center as they love their field so much. Three mischievous tomatoes get out of the truck, but caught by the police just as they are about to turn back to their field. However, the smartest of tomatoes succeeds to escape and noone notices. (drawing by mom)